south river restoration
South River Federation (SRF), in partnership Turnbull Estates community, Edgewater, MD, is seeking to couple a community bioretention project with an innovative living shoreline restoration approach, utilizing the native oyster Crassostrea virginica along with conventional methods (segmented sills).  Funding will be used to implement this new approach with two major outcomes. First: prevent further erosion of the native beach and marsh, and to allow accretion to create additional habitat with a structural shellfish component.  Second: use the roadside ditch to infiltrate and process more nutrients than the current “transport” configuration.  Both the stormwater and shoreline components of this project will reduce sediment flowing into Glebe Creek, the home of the South River’s only designated oyster sanctuary.  In addition to improving water quality for the oyster sanctuary, this project will increase the habitat value of the current shoreline by reducing erosion, bringing in hundreds of native plants, and using existing woody debris to create multiple layers of habitat. 
  
The South River's most successful oyster reef is the Glebe Bay Oyster Sanctuary, which is under active restoration as part of the Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO)Program.  Despite success with the MGO program, the sanctuary continues to struggle with sediment loads.  Two primary sources of sediment have been identified in the watershed.  One is the highly eroding Glebe Creek headwaters.  Anne Arundel County DPW WPRP is currently designing a  stream restoration project along that troubled reach to be installed in 2018-2019.   A second major sediment source is this site, Turnbull Point, also called “Turnbull Cliffs.”   The 700 foot long, 8 – 20 foot tall tidal shoreline is directly adjacent to the Glebe Bay Oyster Sanctuary, and is eroding at approximately 1 foot per year.  
 
In 2014, the Turnbull community contacted the Federation for our recommendations on stabilizing the shoreline that they have seen eroding for three decades.  Through 2014, 2015, and 2016, we attended meetings and site visits with the residents and community leaders, in addition to discussing the project's habitat with partners from the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), to Maryland DNR, to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and many others.   Partners have agreed that a unique opportunity exists to support the existing oyster sanctuary with dual-duty oyster habitat – an approach that has been successfully used in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.  
 
Instead of proposing a conventional living shoreline, the Federation is working with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) on an innovative approach to stabilizing this shoreline that utilizes existing sediment supply and will also add hard structure (likely 3’ oyster reef balls) that is more likely to become shellfish habitat than the types of rip rap used in conventional living shorelines due to its larger surface area to volume ratio to promote the growth of oysters and other bivalves. However, some amount of rip rap will still be used to ensure a stable living shoreline.  
 
 
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Project Funded By:

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